Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

NUKES: There’s a better way to peace

Letter by Thomas V. Karlin, Lakewood on Dec. 29, 2010 at 12:24 pm with 26 Comments »
December 30, 2010 3:05 pm

As someone who has lived with the Rev. Bill Bichsel in the Catholic Worker community, has been to jail with him and knows his associates, I want to respectfully take issue with the editorial board’s perception that he and associates live in a “wishful thinking world” (editorial, 12-15).

To the contrary, they all live and serve in the “real world” of hunger, poverty and homelessness in a nation that trusts in instruments of violence and spends way over half its discretionary budget on arms instead of on human needs.

Bichsel and his associates, in my view, are prophets who have been sounding an alarm as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did in 1967 concerning the Vietnam War: “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”

The editorial board believes that “until the advent of the peaceable kingdom, nuclear arms are likely to remain a necessary evil.” Bichsel and his associates are not going to wait and trust in instruments of violence “until the advent of the peaceable kingdom.” Instead, they are acting nonviolently to help bring that peaceable kingdom about in the here and now.

Leave a comment Comments → 26
  1. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on programs of social uplift than on defense is approaching financial death.

  2. Today the Chinese started deploying a missile (ASBM) that can sink a carrier putting tactical-only forces at risk. Nukes have to be maintained for national security. Remember, START is a treaty between the USA and Russia only, limiting nukes, while the Chinese and their NK friends pose a much more significant threat to the USA.
    Nukes are far less expensive that all the logistics and costs for non-nukes.
    Dr Strangelove

  3. It is truly unfortunate Mr. Karlin, that yourself and Mr. Bichsel do not put the same amount of effort and concern about the atrocities committed by the Catholic Church against children !

  4. freakwater says:

    The military is Socialism in the purest form. Our food and shopping is government-subsidized just like in the old Soviet Union; the U.S. tax payer is billed (bilked?) for our government medical care; our paychecks come from the tax dollars of citizens who work at real jobs in the private sector and industry; we receive guaranteed annual pay raises; and it’s nigh impossible to get fired from our jobs. We also get 30 days paid vacation every year. Good enough for government work!

  5. Thomas – the constitution specifically mandates the defense of the nation. No where does it mandate entitlement spending. (Article 1)

    The Washington State constitution does mandate for education if that helps…

  6. m9078jk3 says:

    It’s delusional to believe in the concept of world peace.It will never happen ever.
    Historically there has always been wars and conflicts amongst men.
    That will never change.There have been wars that have been stopped in the past by deterrence though (the fear of massive retaliation).
    Oddly enough the continued development of instruments of warfare has brought about great social change and improvement through technology converted to civilian uses.Many technologies used for the development of Ballistic Missiles and Space Exploration have brought about numerous civilian products.Even the computer mouse,graphical user interface,Windowing elements,Video teleconferencing,Internet etc were sprung from 1960’s DoD’s ARPA projects at SRI.

    Even some ancient examples are applicable like Fritz Haber who developed ammonia synthesis (Germany in World War 1 had little natural nitrates for explosives and without these nitrates would have lost the war probably in 1915).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritz_Haber

    Without synthetic nitrates (fertilizers) food crops would be exorbitantly expensive and starvation in the world would be far more common.
    It is said that 1/3rd of the worlds population is sustained because of these synthetic fertilizers.

    Bichsel and his associates are going to wait in fact they are going to wait incarcerated in a penitentiary for that destructive (violent) action at a military facility.I don’t consider the destruction of federal property (or anyones legal property) to be a peaceful or legal act at all. If you want to protest fine it’s protected by the U.S. Constitution but do so in a legal manner (protected) instead.

  7. elmerfudd says:

    The nuclear genie is out of the bottle and there is no way you can ever put it back in. Countries all around the world now know how to build nukes and many have decided to do so, for reasons good or ill. Nine countries already have them. Several others are actively trying to join the club. Still other countries, like Japan, maintain a nuclear potential. They might not have the bombs, but they have the materials, delivery vehicles and technology to build them in short order.

    Give it another 20 years and there will be well over a dozen nuclear armed countries and eventually two of them will come to blows.

  8. rr – the Constitution doesn’t mandate maintaining a standing army nor maintaining an empire of military bases throughout the world.

  9. pazzo242 says:

    “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” This is only an opinion as I have never seen anything written in the Bible about that.

    The United States does spend more on military might then anything else but what so many fail to mention is that the USA gives more in aid and charity per capita then any country on the planet and has done that for over a 100 years. The charity comes from the individual and charity groups; as the mission of a government is to protect its citizens. I believe the United States is doing a great job of its rightful mission.

    What people like Bichsel should have been doing (as he has do so in the past) is drumming up support for the chairities Karlin speaks of & not wasting his time with trying to change something he and his rag tag group have no chance of changing. Put one’s efforts into something you can do constructively. Now what does he have, 2 years+ wasted. He has done so much good in Tacoma but should stick to those things he is good at–charity.

    Bichsel has a right to speak out on whatever he wants, what he doesn’t have a right to do is break the law in the process.

    To IBB2–as a Catholic the Church has made great strides but it is people like you that put the Church down and no matter what is accomplished you will try to make Catholics out to be allperverts. The last people who did that sort of stuff was the Nazis against the Jews and the KKK against blacks citizens. Thanks for showing your true color (pun intended).

  10. m9078jk3 – your hypothesis about nitrate based fertilizer maintains the myth of chemical farming being totally beneficial without noting the reality that starvation is due to the economics and politics of the selling and delivery of food (not due to any lack of production) and ignoring the huge negatives created by industrialized farming methods – such as pollution of downstream waterways of algae-bloom creating nitrates.

  11. BB – our bases overseas are authorized based on treaties or were one of the conditions of surrender.

    Iraq wants us out by the end of 2011. It’s their country and we will comply.

    Japan, Germany… need to read the conditions of surrender for clarity on why we are there. Japan does want us out of Okinawa and we are attempting to comply (Guam is a consideration)

  12. rr – you have accounted for 3 countries where we maintain military bases – how about the other 127 or so countries? And then there are those military bases not “officially” under US control in countries whose politicians try to maintain their appearance of national sovereignty.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=12824

  13. rr, The U.S.is in Iraq and if history repeats itself,the Troops will still be there for 40 more years!In that 40 years the U.S.will pour untold BILLIONS OF DOLLARS into the Iraq rebuilding efforts.Just like Germany,Japan ,Korea and Viet Nam.There is a saying,If you want to improve your Countries financial situation,Declare war on the U.S.and let them defeat you.Then the U.S.will send money,supplies and experts into your country to rebuild it.The U.S.will feel it is their obligation to keep troops there and keep giving their tax dollars to you until you are in better Financial Shape than the U.S is!

  14. Roncella says:

    Sincere, lots of good points. Its so sad that liberals actually believe that if America totally disarmed there would be World Peace.

    Apparently some who post here must listen and watch link tv and believe what they say.

  15. nwcolorist says:

    beerBoy, I checked out the website you mentioned (http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=12824). I didn’t know the U.S. had such a global reach.

    That information gave me a sense of pride to be an American. Our presence in these countries will act as a deterrent to anarchist and Marxist groups that wish to subvert the established order.

  16. BlaineCGarver says:

    In spite of what you hear, the US remains in other countries in accordance with a Status Of Forces Agreement with that country. We’ve left Philipines, Panama, and other countries. You cannot pick up and leave overnight..it might take ten years to phase out.

  17. madmike272 says:

    Sorry Buckwheat! That priest and his merry band of aged hippies are nothing more than oxygen thieves! The priest should be defrocked by the Pope and him and his nutcases should get maximum sentences.

  18. Actually, doesn’t Catholicism discourage the so called laity from actually reading scripture and rather ask the “priest” for whatever explanation he may render?
    This would account for the attitude of “We will bring in the “kingdom” for Jesus without any of His help” whereby nullifying the need for His second appearance.
    This priest and his followers have been doing a very good job of caring for those in need, but are woefully in ignorance of the (all) scripture they are instructed to read.
    “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that ye be not troubled for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”..Mt 24:6 and…
    “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world..” Mt 28: 19-20.
    They were encroaching outside of their job description and neglecting what they had been doing well…

  19. sharkie69 says:

    “roxey says:
    December 29, 2010 at 3:23 pm
    A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on programs of social uplift than on defense is approaching financial death.”

    What nation is that?

  20. sharkie69 says:

    “Roncella says:
    December 30, 2010 at 11:24 am
    Sincere, lots of good points. Its so sad that liberals actually believe that if America totally disarmed there would be World Peace.

    Apparently some who post here must listen and watch link tv and believe what they say.”

    People who listen to FOX also think that the majority of Muslims are terrorists. Only 15% of Islam is in Arabic countries. Don’t expect them to comprehend disarmament when basic math baffles them.

  21. sharkie69 says:

    “m9078jk3 says:
    December 30, 2010 at 3:03 am
    It’s delusional to believe in the concept of world peace.It will never happen ever.

    Well, that about tears it for Christianity.

  22. beerBoy says:

    Larsman – no.

    Your antipapist views are incorrect. Catholics are encouraged to read the Bible. Unlike your authoritarian, literalist and selective read of the Bible, Catholics understand that it is sheer arrogance to insist that one is the sole owner of the one correct interpretation of a Scripture that is filled with contradictory text.

  23. “Catholics understand that it is sheer arrogance to insist that one is the sole owner of the one correct interpretation of a Scripture…”

    Huh?

    You’re sure about this bBoy?

  24. beerBoy says:

    Yes sozo, of this I am sure.

    Catholicism has a dialectical tension between the requirement adherence to Canon Law while maintaining ferven respect for each individual’s moral right to conscientious and personal belief.

    This tension has led to the censorship and/or excommunication of prominent Catholic thinkers such as theologian Hans Kung by those who emphasize the authoritarian tradition over the individual’s active decisions regarding moral matters (read: sin). But the authoritarian side can never completely erase the opposing individualistic teaching/tradition of the Church.

  25. Roncella says:

    sharkie, When has Fox News or any of the programs on Fox made the claim that a majority of Muslims are Terrorists, When ?

  26. larsman says:

    Sharkey sez – “Well, that about tears it for Christianity.”…
    Remedial reading for you…Peace will not be attained through man’s efforts.
    Peace is not a man-made mechanical structure, it did not work at the Tower of Bab-El and it will not work through the U.N., World Bank or any threat of man-made destruction…ever.
    Peace comes in two stages
    1) Jesus Christ personally in this present dispensation and
    2) At His soon re-arrival at the east side of Jerusalem

    Whether by microscope upon things that we have not the capacity to measure as yet, or by Hubble/NASA telescope for the same reason, one has the choice of either Psalm 14 or Psalm 19. I suggest the latter…

*
We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0